UMC claims a significant performance enhancement on 45nm p-channel transistors through substrate engineering. UMC's engineers have implemented a new substrate crystalline orientation scheme to realise a transistor drive current increase of 30%, compared to devices fabricated on silicon substrates with conventional surface orientation. Performance gain is based on the same level of device leakage.
European IC producer Micronas has agreed to acquire LINX Electronics, a US fabless semiconductor company that develops digital television solutions for improved reception of high-definition television (HDTV) signals.
A new generation of programmable CMOS imaging chips is to be developed in a project led by University of Sheffield Professor Nigel Allinson. Among the hopes for the GBP4.5mn MI-3 project are the earlier detection of cancer, the instant analysis of medical screening tests and the ability for emergency and security services to work effectively in murky surroundings. Possible scientific applications are seen in studies of the fundamental interactions of matter, space exploration and cell biology.
AMD held the “topping-off” ceremony for its next-generation 300mm manufacturing facility, AMD Fab 36, in Dresden, Germany. According to AMD chairman of the board, president and CEO Hector Ruiz, the facility “will help ensure we have the capacity required to meet our customers’ - and their customers’ - needs for pervasive 64bit computing solutions powered by AMD64 technology.”
MEMSCAP released a pressure module transducer for high-end aeronautics applications. The TP 3100 micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) has received DO178B level B certification from Norway’s Civil Aviation Authority.
Oki Electric Industry is acquiring an Aixtron Tricent MOCVD tool for the commercial manufacturing of high-density FeRAM non-volatile memories. The tool will be used within the framework of a three-company agreement between Aixtron, Symetrix and Oki. The initial work will produce FeRAM devices in the density range 64k-16Mbit. Engineering samples are scheduled for release by Q4 2004.
DuPont Photomasks has begun commercial production at its photomask facility in Dresden, Germany. The company claims it as the world’s most advanced such plant aiming at advanced photomask technologies for semiconductor devices with design rules of 65nm and below.
Philips Electronics has developed a 13inch PolyLED TV prototype based on polymer OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology. The equipment will be demonstrated at the Society for Information Display's International Symposium in the USA, May 23-28, 2004.
QinetiQ of the UK and TRONIC’S Microsystems in France announced a collaboration agreement to provide customers with an enhanced technology transition roadmap from prototype to volume production of micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).
Unaxis Wafer Processing has partnered with the University of Central Florida (UCF) in advanced optics development. These R&D efforts will use a Unaxis SHUTTLELINE plasma etch system to fabricate complex micro-optical elements using wafer based manufacturing techniques.
IQE Silicon Compounds has released a proprietary product with strained silicon at 20% Ge content. The company claims “best in class” for its material in terms of surface micro roughness (less than 1Angstrom on a 1micron2 field), low threading and low pile up dislocation densities, and germanium and thickness uniformity. Several wafer manufacturers and IDMs have made independent assessments, IQE reports.
Philips Electronics reports achieving right-first-time 90nm silicon from its CMOS production line at Crolles2, France, and from TSMC facilities in Taiwan. Philips used the low-leakage 90nm process to produce a component that integrates an ARM processor core with SRAM, ROM and analogue signal circuitry designed for a wireless application. Philips aims to deliver production volumes of 90nm CMOS products this year.
Rambus has filed an anti-trust suit in the California superior court against Hynix Semiconductor, Infineon Technologies, Micron Technology and Siemens AG. The intellectual property developer says that the IC producers are engaged in a concerted and unlawful effort to eliminate competition and stifle innovation in the market for computer memory technology and computer memory chips.
Fabless company Triad Semiconductor has developed a "mixed-signal structured array" (MSSA) architecture that uses a single IC fabrication mask to configure an array of analogue and digital circuit elements into an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC).
IC fault detection and classification (FDC) technology supplier Si Automation (SiA) has signed a three-year contract with STMicroelectronics’ 200mm site in Crolles, France. The ST site consists of an integrated facility with R&D, pilot production and volume manufacturing. The leading-edge technologies developed at Crolles are deployed in ST’s other fabs.